Ava DuVernay’s New ‘Naomi’ Series Aims to Show Black Girls They Can Be Superheroes Too

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Across the DC to Marvel universes, the number of Black female superheroes is slim. But leave it to acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay to tell Hollywood to hold her drink as she works to fill the void.

On Monday, DuVernay took to Twitter to explain the inspiration behind her new CW series Naomi. According to the When They See Us creator, she wanted to normalize the idea of a Black female superhero.

“I was asked why I’m doing a show on the CW about a Black girl learning that she’s actually a superhero,” DuVernay tweeted.

“Because I want there to be a show about a Black girl learning that she’s actually a superhero. And then being a great one.”

She noted how “proud” she is of her new show that premiered on Tuesday. The series follows Naomi, played by Kaci Walfall, a high school student who is a big fan of Superman and runs one of the largest fan sites in the world dedicated to the DC hero.

Despite living like any other teenager, Naomi’s interest in Superman leads her to look into an encounter many assume was a publicity stunt. When researching the mystery, Naomi starts to learn that she has some special abilities of her own that break the stigmas around what a true superhero looks like.

“I want this to be an autonomous story about Naomi,” DuVernay told Variety. “One of the things I really wanted was for her to live in her own universe.”

“We call it the ‘Naomi-verse.’ And she’s not tethered to and she does not have to speak to the other stories that are going on now. It would just be too complicated, taking on too much legacy of the other shows, and doesn’t give the character the freedom to live her own life.”